Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A network of forced labor camps in the former Soviet Union.
  • noun A labor camp in this network.
  • noun A network of prisons used especially for political dissidents.
  • noun A prison in such a network.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A prison camp.
  • noun A generic name for the system of all Soviet prison camps in use during the Stalinist period.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Russian Gulag, from G(lavnoe) u(pravlenie ispravitel'no-trudovykh) lag(ereĭ), Chief Administration (of Correctional Labor) Camps.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Russian acronym ГУЛАГ: Главное управление исправительно-трудовых лагерей (Glávnoje upravlénije ispravítel’no-trudovýx lageréj, "Chief Administration of Corrective-Labor Camps, Main Directorate for Places of Detention, Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps, etc.")

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